The Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation and Southern African Chinese Women’s Association Donate Clothing to Learners at Durban Primary School
DURBAN, Thursday, 12 May 2011 – The learners of Umlazi township’s Saphinda Combined Primary School were treated to a warm surprise when they received unexpected gifts in the form of school jerseys, shoes, socks, bags and hats mobilised by the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation.
The clothing items and cash altogether totalling R225 000,00 have been donated by the Southern African Chinese Women’s Association and Mr. Robin C.B. Xu, who is a director of Sino African Property and owner of Durban’s China Mall.
Furthermore, the school has used the cash component of the donation to buy food parcels for the learners, the majority of whom come from families with unemployed parents. As part of the responsibility of accepting the donation, the school has undertaken to provide a detailed report to the donating parties and the foundation of how the items and cash will be distributed among the learners and used.
The underdeveloped Saphinda school has been graded by the Department of Education as a no-fee school. With 1 251 learners from Grade R to 7, served by 37 teachers, the school faces learner overcrowding per class and still lacks basic learning facilities such as a library, an administration building and a computer laboratory, all which are critical resources to aid learning in the information economy.
Overwhelmed by the support, the school’s principal, Ms. Thenjiwe Zulu said she was very grateful to the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation for bringing the school’s fate to the attention of the Chinese Women’s Association and Mr. Xu. “We are very blessed to receive the support, and it is very clear in our minds that we have a long way to go toward becoming a conducive environment for learning and development of the 21st Century,” she said.
“Working with learners we get to observe several factors that affect the learner’s environment and ability to perform in class. These factors include how differently a learner is dressed from other learners or coming to school on an empty stomach – and this donation is helping us address some of the challenges,” she explained.
“I took the initiative to mobilise support for Saphinda because I strongly believe that every child deserves a quality education, and should be able to receive such education in an enabling environment,” said Madam Bongi Ngema-Zuma, the patron of the Foundation. “Certainly no child should have to go to school on an empty stomach or travel barefoot and without warm clothes. We all have a responsibility to ensure that we do what we can to help the needy, especially in a strategic investment into our country’s future and leveraging the opportunity to influence those with resources.”
“As the Southern African Chinese Women’s Association, we are happy to be of help and making a positive difference in underprivileged communities, and we believe that supporting learners is a good investment into the future,” said Ms. AiZhu Zhou of the association.
The Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation aims to raise awareness, educate, support and help people take control of diabetes, as well as promote rural development and education. The foundation’s involvement in mobilising the donation to the school fits to its objective of promoting education in underserved communities.
There are approximately 1.5 million South Africans living with diabetes and a further 4 million people in the country are at high risk of developing diabetes, which together with its complications rank as the third leading cause of deaths among South Africans. Diabetes, as with all diseases, will only be effectively addressed when issues of awareness, education, nutrition, and basic necessities such as clean water are integral to the solution to building a healthy nation.
Saphinda teachers have expressed interest in advocating for diabetes awareness and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Breakdown of the donation to Saphinda Combined Primary School:
720 Pairs of shoes
1 120 Jerseys and 1 251 Boys & Girls socks
1 300 School bags
1 300 Hats
R40 000.00: Cash deposit